WEARING a face covering has become almost second nature to Brits as we have to wear them while on public transport, in shops, in cafes and pubs.
But, when will Brits no longer have to mask up when they are out and about? Here's all you need to know.
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When will we stop wearing face coverings in the UK?
Wearing a face covering is mandatory on public transport and in indoor settings such as shops, hairdressers, bars, and restaurants.
It's not known when the measure will be lifted.
Scientists believe that masks will be here to stay for a considerable period of time.
According to WebMD, we will only be able to stop wearing masks when one of the following is achieved:
- There's an effective vaccine
- "Herd immunity" to the virus is achieved
- We all become naturally immune to the virus
Why do we need to wear face coverings?
Covid-19 spreads through droplets that are released when a person coughs or sneezes.
Face coverings should be worn to protect other people from coronavirus rather than yourself.
Masks should cover your nose and mouth – the two main sources of transmission.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) say that the use of face masks in public places may reduce the spread of infection in the community when they are worn by people who might not realise they are infected with the virus.
When should I wear a face covering?
It has been compulsory to wear a face covering on public transport in the UK since June 15.
Their use is also mandatory in train stations, airports, ports, and bus and coach stations.
Wearing a face mask in shops became compulsory on July 24 as lockdown restrictions were gradually eased.
Face coverings are also compulsory in England and Scotland in venues such as banks, places of worship, museums, and libraries.
They must also be worn when visiting attractions such as museums, galleries, aquariums and theme parks.
Pupils and teachers in all secondary schools in England have been required to wear a face mask in communal areas and corridors since the country entered lockdown on November 5.
You should wear a face mask when it's difficult to social distance and where you come into contact with people you don't normally meet.
What are the fines if you don't wear face coverings?
The police can take measures if the public do not comply without a valid exemption.
Children under the age of 11 and people with breathing problems, mental illness, and/or physical disabilities are exempt from wearing a mask.
Transport operators can refuse access to services if a passenger is not wearing a mask.
Cops and Transport for London can issue fines of £200 (reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days) for the first offence.
Repeat offenders will have their fines doubled at each offence – up to a maximum punishment of £6,400.
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